The next decade trends are already in!
The last year of the decade is upon us. And as the lasts of everything vanish faster than anything, we’ll be landing soon in the second decade of the 21st centuray. During the first decade, technology touched upon nearly all the aspects of life and enabled us in the ways unthinkable before. So, it’s safe to say that our predictions were outsmarted or rather outpaced by technology. But as any other healthy eco-system where every prediction should have the potential to branch out into another possibility, the overall advancements have kept up with the spirit of the predictions.
What’s next for publishing?
With the advent of handy electronic devices, the e-book market exploded over the years and it continues to do better with e-commerce giants giving more and more space to e-books on their platforms. This results in a situation where the impact created by e-books is having an echoing effect on traditional publishing as well.
One of the biggest trends to take over the industry in the recent times is ‘Print-on-demand(POD)’. The sharp incisions inflicted by internet on the overall ignorance of the populace has resulted in steadily rising demand for books. The POD model provides flexiblility to publsihers to accommodate more number of, and diverse titles while printing a limited number of copies. This way the market is catering to more writers while limiting their dependence on the success of a handful of titles. POD is well on its way to improve on its current numbers and is projected to do better in the upcoming years.
Although the market is seeing growth, the industry is going through a phase of transition. According to a senior analyst at Technavio for research on media, the traditional publishing will continue to outweigh all other mediums but the digital publishing will outpace it in terms of incremental growth.
But in a decade dominated by digital sprints and giant footprints, it is the audio books that stake claim at the heighest mantle. According to a forbes report, Audible UK’s revenue in 2017 increased by a whopping 45% within a year, making it £97 million. The trend conitnued to grow the next year with a smashing 32.1 % percent growth in the first quarter in comparison to a rather lethargic growth of just 3.2% of e-books. In keeping with the zeitgeist, the consumers are turning away from physical books one audio book at a time. According to a Publishers Weekly report, Harper’s overall revenue generation through digital means saw downloadable audio books taking a hefty 25% amount in the first quarter of 2018.
The publishing industry is going through a resurgent and a comparatively vibrant period. The internet has proven to be an ultimate enabler. Electronic devices have taken the things to another level and audio has just deepened the pockets of the industry.
Now, the next logical step seems to be rooted in Artifical Intelligence. As user behaviour, comsumption patterns and overall medium conitune to dictate the terms of the industry, an AI-enabled approach to both content and decision making seems more and more important. But for now, the industry can catch its breath and pat itself on the back, as it marks a triumphant phase of transition from traditional to ebooks to digital audio. A transition which will usher the industry into the impending arrival of AI, Blockchain and the tech based on them.
Surely, for the publishing industry, the good times lie ahead.